On Wednesday, November 25, the seventh-grade girls participated in a bas mitzvah workshop in the lunchroom of YCQ. In a typical year, the sixth-grade girls would have a program after school with their mothers, in anticipation of becoming b’nos mitzvah the following year. However, due to the events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, which began earlier this year, and which forced a lot of activities at school to be suspended, it was not possible to hold the event at the end of sixth grade.

For this reason, the seventh-grade girls had their event this fall to celebrate together the important milestone of becoming b’nos mitzvah. Unlike previous years, their mothers were not able to join because of the limitations on the number of people allowed to participate and social distancing requirements, due to COVID-19. The faculty and staff made extra efforts to make the girls feel special in honor of this important occasion.

The seventh-grade girls had a special lunch reception followed by a presentation in which they each presented a speech describing their namesakes and the background of their relationships with the people whose lives they honor. Morah Leemor, the sixth grade Ivrit teacher, assisted the girls in drafting their speeches and helped the girls with presentation style. At the end of the lunch reception, the girls also received siddurim as a special token for becoming b’nos mitzvah.

One component of the bas mitzvah workshop was to engage in a chesed activity, and this year the seventh-grade girls raised money for an orphanage in Israel. The girls raised money by selling things like doughnuts for Chanukah and mishloach manos on Purim during the previous year. “I am so proud of these girls for raising a lot of money, especially after what they went through,” said Morah Bienenfeld after the bas mitzvah workshop.

“After these months of staying inside,” said Tehilla Kafash a seventh-grade student, “it was really amazing for all the teachers to chip in and make this something special.” Everyone at YCQ – teachers, faculty, and staff – worked very hard to make the celebration marking the seventh-grade girls becoming b’nos mitzvah a very important occasion, even in light of the unusual situation and limits due to the current pandemic, and to make the bas mitzvah workshop a special event they would never forget.

By Ruby Samson, grade 8